Val d’Isere, without doubt, has to be one of the best places to go skiing for the more advanced, thrill-seeking mountain maniacs. Having the second largest ski area in the French Alps with over 300km to explore you can very quickly get yourself into places it seems like no one has ever been before and embark on a journey into the wilderness.
It’s not just the great off-piste that attracts the thousands each year. The resort has lots more to offer for those pursuing adrenaline with a wide variety of activities in the snow and beyond making you want to just keep on returning to this winter adventure playground.
Val d’Isere Off-Piste Skiing & Adventures
Val d’Isère off-piste skiing
For those who do come in search of getting into some serious off-piste, one of the great attractions in Val d’Isere is just how accessible a lot of it is. You can simply hop on a chairlift make a few turns here and there and you will all of a sudden find yourself in a vast sea of powder. Where to head?
The Fornet Trees
Jump straight on the bubble and within minutes you can be hitting the tree runs if you cut straight off the “Mangard” blue run. Be warned though it may sound simple enough but watch out for all the cliff drops that sneak up between the trees! You can spend your entire day here just lapping the trees finding fresh tracks each time with enough powder to go round.
Grand Prie chairlift
When the visibility is good, this is a great option. Once you hit the top you are faced with warning signs of “Hors Piste” and “Danger” already inciting that adrenaline before you’ve barely stood from the chairlift. Take a breath and drop off the back here for a great run giving you that real backcountry feel. You can ski down feeling that the mountain is completely yours with nothing in sight but the valley and snow before returning to resort by a final little trek bringing you out in the Manchet Valley.
Ski tour to get fresh tracks
If you like to get that feeling of working for fresh tracks and embarking on fearful hikes across the top of mountains before dropping into some serious places, then “Pisteurs Colouir” has to be at the top of your list of things to hit. Again on the Grand Prie chairlift just take a look up to your left and you will see the extremely tight run out between sheer rock faces and question your sanity before embarking on the 45 minute/hour trek along the extremely high ridgeline.
Once at the top you may ask yourself what you were thinking before plummeting straight down the narrow colouir with your heart racing until to reach the open stretch where you will be so pumped of excitement you’ll want to jump straight back on the chairlift and do it all over again.
You can head out to the infamous Mikeys Ears after a short trek off the top of the Tommeuses. From here you can ride a variety of different terrains down to the Lac de Chevril for that ride back to Val d’Isere to start planning your next adventure.
You could even do the full works and get a heli-ride out of some of the more famous runs for an added thrill and a perfect view of your fresh tracks. Our friends at Valheliski offer half-day, full day or multi-day heliskiing and reverse heliskiing adventures in Espace Killy, so you are sure to find one that suits you.
Try out the lesser-known sport of kite skiing. Kite skiing is a relatively recent sport that combines skiing, sailing & kite flying. But it is nothing like downhill or mountain skiing. It involves using a power kite or traction/inflatable kite to pull you around on two skis, making the hill unnecessary. As you are being pulled across the ground it is similar to cross-country skiing but with the driving force coming from the kite. Definitely a unique adventure to try out in Val.
These are just a few places amongst an almost endless amount of off-piste runs you can explore here in Val d’Isere and throughout Espace Killy. It goes without saying if you are even thinking about hitting anything like this you need to make sure you stay safe, go with a guide and make sure you have all the kit and know how to use it.